Monday, April 04, 2005

Jardin Ranelagh

On Sunday I hosted a brunch. I do not think I have had a brunch since I moved to France five years ago. Brunch is not very popular here. But I love brunch. You can pretty much offer whatever you want. I made a cake, quiche and a strata, and my sister brought some French specialties: macaroons and canele.

The invitees? There were some family friends from Brazil who were in town for a couple of days. The husband spoke French and the wife spoke English. It made for interesting table conversations. I also invited cousin Janet and her daughter. It was a nice group of people and it was very special for me. As I have mentioned, my mother died 15 years ago. Her only sibling, an older brother, died a couple of weeks ago and it felt like I lost my last ties with my mother. So it was really nice to have a cousin and friends of my mother in my home.

After the brunch, and the family friends left, Janet and I headed with our girls (my son was at another birthday party) to the Jardin du Ranelagh. It is a big park in my neighborhood and the perfect place to hang out on a sunny Sunday. People bring picnic lunches and then lay down on towels to enjoy the sun.

If you have read the book by Adam Gopnick, From Paris to the Moon, he writes about the carousel at Luxembourg Garden. The same kind of carousel is located in Ranelagh, where there are large hooks and the manager takes the old wooden horses out of storage every day and hangs them each on a hook. He walks the carousel around. It is completely manually operated. In the middle left of the picture you can see a green board. From that board metal rings hang down and children, who are each given a stake, try to put the stake through the ring to collect as many rings as possible. Believe me the kids get very competitive!

-- said Auntie M in Paris
1:19 PM



I'm very touched by your love of your family and wanting to keep in touch. I think sometimes, that takes extra effort and for our kids, to instill in them people who are "connected" to them and how important they will be later on.

I know of the Jardin du Ranelagh - I was there one Wed. afternoon and there were tons!! of kids there - at what I knew was school hours. No, I didn't really know until later they weren't playing hooky.

Terry in SF

# posted by Anonymous : 4:32 AM  

again, another great place to discover with my kids, maybe when they are a little older though. thanks Auntie M!

# posted by irene : 11:06 AM  

I reqularly impose it on my French husband, poor guy.

The last time I shocked him at first with my Eggs Benedict and Mimosas. He couldn't see why anyone would ruin a good bottle of champagne with orange juice, but then in the end he really liked it!

# posted by Sammy : 1:02 PM  

What a beautiful, beautiful dimanche en famille! It sounds like you created a very magical event--- and macaroons! My favorite! The very best (in my opinion) are macaroon nature from a patisserie on rue Vavin (the one closest to rue d'assas and the luxembourg gardens)-- in case you fancy a taste test! :) ~bluepoppy

# posted by bluepoppy : 4:59 PM  

Okay, now I've added one more thing I really want to do one day: get an invitation to Auntie M's Brunch in Paris and spend all day with you and the kids.

Sounds just perfect.

# posted by Philip : 7:51 PM  

Terry, Jardin du Ranelagh is a very, very popular place on Wednesdays. They have pony rides and puppet shows and there is a lot of space.
Irene, Don't wait till they are older. Your children will love Ranelagh. There is a really large sand area with a play ground. They park has something for children of all ages.
Sammy, I was thinking about Mimosas. I should have made some because I think they are delicious.
BP, I will definitely take a look at the bakery you recommend! Next time I'm over there, I'll buy some macaroons.
Philip, What a nice thing to say! Thank you.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 10:17 AM  

I Just love the Paris to the moon, that is so funny !

# posted by negrito : 6:22 PM  

I love the Jardin Ranelagh and the statue of La Fontaine. It is such a wonderful statue, with La Fontaine standing, looking down at the fox who is looking up at the crow with the wheel of cheese....and only recently discovered that this statue is not ancient, it was replaced in 1983. the original statue was melted down in WWII, but the replacement statue is wonderful. The cast iron carousel with the hand crank is one of few in the world....where the children do reach for the rings with their little hooked sticks....LOVELY! We always go to this beautiful spot, have a coffee and absorb all the children and mamas and nannies at their best. Brunch is lovely, keep up the new tradition. Someday, we will rent a flat rather than stay in a hotel....it is so tempting to cook the fabulous food that is everywhere. We will be there in September, and you may see up sitting in the park.

# posted by Rose from Texas : 1:28 AM  

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